Diabetes and Stroke Link
According to the American Heart Association, every 2 minutes, an American adult with diabetes is hospitalized for stroke. Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to have a stroke as compared to others. The good news, however, is that if you live with diabetes, you can take actions to reduce your risk. The first step is to understand the link between diabetes and stroke.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body’s blood sugar is too high. Insulin, which is a hormone created by the pancreas, helps get sugar from the food you eat into your cells. Sometimes the body doesn’t make enough insulin, and the sugar stays in the bloodstream. Over time, the excessive sugar, or blood glucose, can cause fatty deposits or clots in blood vessels, which increases the risk of stroke.
Individuals with diabetes, however, can take steps to lead lives free from stroke and other heart problems, including:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Not smoking, or quitting if you do
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing stress
If you live with diabetes, talk to your physician or healthcare provider about concerns you may have about stroke or heart health.